California School Superintendent Takes $800,000 Pay Cut Over Next Three Years

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"I was particularly disappointed in what happened in Bell because I also happen to be a Baptist minister and ethics and treating people well is important to me and I wanted to make a sort of a statement, but without poking anyone in the eye. There are some of us out there that will do things differently than others did," Powell said.

School Super Reverses Trend: Gives Himself a Hefty Pay Cut

The extra $830,000 that the county will gain from his salary cut will be held in a reserve fund and used if mid-year budget cuts occur. Powell hopes the money can be saved for a rainy day, but if more budget cuts occur, he plans to use them on the programs that are nearest to his heart and the most in danger.

"The programs that are particularly important are transition kindergarten and preschool....AVID--Advancement Via Individual Determination, an incredible program that has over 95 percent effective rate of getting kids into college...and the arts have been getting hammered. We're bringing in artists in residence. If we end up with another budget cut in mid year I won't have to lose those programs," he said.

Powell said that since his decision was made public earlier this week, he's been overwhelmed by the response.

"My Facebook page has been hit with literally hundreds of thank yous…I'm no hero...It's a way to give back to the community I love and we're going to do that," Powell said.

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